Friday, 27 July 2012

Micromax to Release 10.1 inch Funbook Tablet, Specs and First Impressions

We are all well acquainted with the fact that the Indian handset maker Micromax is all about providing new age technology at a dirt cheap price. Nowhere else you will get an android smartphone for 4-5K or an Android driven tablet for as low as 6K. And latest entrant to the already gigantic list of entities is the Funbook Pro which happens to be a 10.1 inch tablet running the Android ICS 4.0. Some deem it to be the extension of the super successful Funbook tablet that the company launched a while ago.

Let’s have a detailed look at the hardware specifications of the tablet:
As it is clear from the name that the tablet will be 10.1 inch in size and as far as the display is concerned the TFT LCD screen will be having a 1024x600p resolution with multi-touch facility, of course.

Now, if we turn our heed towards the CPU and RAM of the tab we find that the tablet has been packed with lightening fast 1.2GHz Cortex A-8 processor, which is well complimented by a 1 GB RAM. This combination is as lethal as it looks.

The 8GB of storage capacity might make some eyebrows arch but the 32GB expansion capacity truly makes amend for the relatively small inbuilt storage.

For those who are interested in adding face to the conversation, the Funbook will be having a VGA camera on the front side of the body. So are surely not going to miss on that either.

It has been told in the beginning that the Tablet will be running on the latest Android OS the ICS 4.0.3. The tablet is loaded with various study materials called “Edutainment”.  So both the fun and the learn elements are properly kept intact. The price, till now, has not been brought to light but trade pundits expect it to be somewhere between 7.5 to 9.9K.

Other features are not disclosed by now, but the above mentioned specs are ample evidence that the tablet will create some hullabaloo in the domestic market, some real uproar.

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Spice Stellar Craze Mi-355 vs Samsung Galaxy Y

Spice Stellar Craze Mi-355 vs HTC Wildfire S

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Spice Stellar Craze Mi-355 vs HTC Wildfire S

In my last post I drew a comparison between Spice’s soon to be releasing, Stellar Craze Mi-355 and Samsung’s Galaxy Y. We found out that the Spice Stellar Craze is not just a better phone but is a thousand bucks cheaper than the other handset. Today I am going to put it against the other market ruler, the Wildfire S from HTC, which is a force to reckon with in the smartphone world globally. So let’s jump into a head to head comparison, without further ado.

Look and Feel
The Wildfire S has a screen size of 3.2 inch whereas the Spice Stellar has a 3.5 inch screen but the 119x64x12 mm dimension of the Spice handset is such that it can neither be called ergonomic nor stylish, though the makers have tried to give it a rectangular iPhone like look but they seem to have not been so successful with their endeavor. Wildfire S all the way.

In the CPU segment the HTC Wildfire S comes packed with an 600MHz, seconded by a 512MB RAM processor and in reply the Spice Stellar has a conspicuously superior processor of 800MHz, which is well complimented by a 512 MB RAM. No need to say that the Spice Stellar is more powerful here.

Storage capacity
The expandable storage capacity of either of the handsets is 32GB but the internal storage capacity of the Wildfire S, which happens to be 418MB, is almost three times bigger than that of the Spice handset. Wildfire S.

Display and Camera Specifications
The 3.5 inch LCD TFT screen of Spice Stellar Mi-355 has a 480x320 p resolution, which makes the images and visuals crispier and interesting. The other handset in question, the HTC Wildfire S houses a 3.2 inch screen, has the same resolution as Stellar thus has a higher ppi. This goes as a draw.

The most amazing thing about the Spice Stellar Mi-355 is the presence of a secondary camera that is a rarity in its price bracket. Now, both the handsets house a 5MP primary camera, HTC has a LED flash, which is replied befittingly by a dual LED flash of the other handset. With a camera on the front side the Stellar wins, wins by a margin.

Connectivity, Battery, and OS
In the connectivity segment both the handsets have 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. Battery spec of the HTC Desire S says that it has a standard 1230mAh Li-Ion battery, which is significantly smaller than the 1420mAh battery of the Spice Stellar Mi-355.
Both the handsets are Android driven handsets and both of them run the same version of the OS, Android Gingerbread.  

The Verdict
Yes, the form factor of the HTC is better so is the Storage capacity, but are these the specs and is the difference so big that the we should pay additional four thousand(Spice is priced at 6k and HTC at 10K), the answer is NO.

The Spice Stellar has a front camera, better battery, bigger display, and faster CPU, which make it a better handset. And the dirt cheap price tag is the icing on the cake. All green for the Spice Mi-355, thumbs up.

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Spice Stellar Craze Mi-355 vs Samsung Galaxy Y

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Spice Stellar Craze Mi-355 vs Samsung Galaxy Y

My team mate wrote the review of the-soon-to-hit-market -Spice Stellar Craze Mi-355 yesterday; she found the handset to be far-fetched, when compared to other handsets in the similar price range. We still have the handset with us and every time we use it, we tend to like it more. And the best way to know how good the handset actually is, to make it stand in front of a handset that is priced in the same bracket and comes from a market leader. Yes, I am going to compare the Spice Mi-355 with Galaxy Y from Samsung, which happen to be the top notch phone in the low end smartphone segment of the market(arguably, of course). Let’s hit the road, without delay.

First of all, the form factor of the handsets: on one hand we have Samsung Galaxy Y, which has a 3.15 inch screen and has a dimension of 104 x 58 x 11.5 mm, then on the other hand we have Spice Stellar Mi-355 which has a screen size of 3.5 inch and has a dimension of 119x64x12 mm. Now, one gets to feel that the size difference between the two handsets is very small if the dimension is kept as a matter of concern; that shows that the space has not been utilized in the handset, whether it has been done intentionally or otherwise, is a matter of contention. Plus bigger dimension makes the weight heavier. In addition the Galaxy Y is slimmer too. Galaxy Y wins hands down. 
But hey, screen size is one thing and display is quite another; in the display segment the Stellar has a TFT-LCD screen with a  resolution of 480x320, whereas the Y has a TFT-LCD screen with a resolution of 320x240, which is far lesser than the Stellar. Stellar wins in the display battle.

If we turn our attention towards the camera feature of the handset we find the biggest difference between the two, the presence of the front camera makes the Spice Stellar a better phone from the very beginning. And the primary camera of the Stellar is also far superior than the same of the Y, as the Stellar sports a 5MP camera on the back side of the body with dual LED flash whereas the Galaxy Y has only 2MP photo snapper, that too without flash support. Stellar,folks.

In the processor segment both the handsets are almost at the same level as Stellar houses 800MHz and Galaxy Y sports a 832MHz processor. But the 512MB RAM of the Stellar (which is almost twice of the same of Galaxy) gives it the cutting edge.

Storage specification too is almost the same as both the handsets have memory expansion capacity of up to 32GB and  almost the same user available memory. In the battery segment the Stellar scores some points over the Galaxy as it has 1420mAh battery whereas the Galaxy Y only 1200mAh battery.

In the connectivity segment both the handsets have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, and 3G connectivity. Both the mobiles are Android Gingerbread driven handsets. But with features like prebuilt Facebook app, NetQin antivirus, whatsapp, and Vault security the Stellar becomes the superior handset.

Final Words
After going through the entire article you guys must have understood why was my fellow blogger so optimistic on Spice Stellar Craze Mi-355. The verdict, ladies and gentleman, is a thumping YES!

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Spice Mi-355 Stellar Craze Review

Monday, 23 July 2012

Spice Mi-355 Stellar Craze Review

Targeting the customers who look for cost-effective yet powerful Android devices, Spice has recently launched three Android smartphones – Mi-425, Mi-355, and Mi-500. While Mi-425 has already marked its triumph in the indigenous souk, the Mi-355 –Stellar Craze - is getting ready to hit the market with vigor. Let’s see what is good and what is bad in this smallest and cheapest dual-SIM Android phone in the series.
Quick Spec - Rundown
·         Dual SIM (GSM+GSM)
·         Android v2.3 Gingerbread OS
·         800MHz Snapdragon Processor
·         3.5″ Inch capacitive touchscreen display
·         Rear Camera: 5.0 Megapixels - Front camera: 0.3 Megapixels
·         Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB
·         GPS Navigation
·         Preloaded Netqin Anti-Virus
·         1420mAh Battery

Spice Stellar Craze Mi-355 hands-on video

The phone radiates elegance with a clean glossy finish, rectangular profile, and sturdy feel. The phone seems to be optimal to hold in your palm. The device sports a silver color bezel, which enhances the look and makes it similar to iPhone. Spice could have bestowed its customers with a bigger screen in the given real estate; the current 3.5 inch screen leaves a lot of free space on top and bottom face of the mobile.

At the top of the front face, you can see the proximity sensor and a VGA front camera for video chat. A 3.5mm audio jack assumes its position on the top along with lock/power key. Volume rocker is given in the left hand side, while a micro USB port is given at the bottom side. The right hand side is wholly bare.
The interior of the phone looks well designed with two SIM card slots aligned side by side. Having a hot swappable SD card slot would have added some convenience to users, unfortunately it is not.

User Interface
 At the bottom of the screen four capacitive keys have been given: home, accessing options, back and Google search key. Long pressing home key opens recently opened apps to give quick access to frequently used apps. You can pull down the notification bar from the top and have quick access to notifications; you can also control Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, screen rotation and much more from your notification bar! 

You have five homescreen to make use of. Adding shortcuts, widgets, folders and wallpapers is so simple; you just need to long press the screen and add your favorite widgets. Apps can be accessed easily by flipping menu screen horizontally. At the bottom of the touch screen, you can have access to alpha-numeric dialer, contacts, messaging, and app drawer.
You can retrieve separate call logs for Master and Slave SIMs. You have separate calling buttons for Master and Slave SIMs and call logs, which again can be separated for each SIM - an exalt for a dual SIM phone.

Touch & Display
As I said earlier, the  screen looks small in the given front space of the device. Images and text look incredibly crisp on the screen that has a resolution of 320 x 480 and color depth of 262K. The default wallpaper that illustrates water droplets on a grey background makes it even more similar to iPhone, while you can pick any live wallpaper and set on it to match your moods.  Screen visibility on sunlight is middling, when the brightness is maximized, but the screen looked as dark as a slate, when the brightness is lowered. Very smooth touch response is the most virtuous aspect I found in this device. It supports multitouch gesture, which makes Internet browsing and gallery viewing a pleasure.

The Stellar Craze Mi-355 comes packed with two cameras, which, in the given price bracket, is a big achievement. The 5MP back camera comes with dual LED flash and 4x digital zoom. Images clicked in well-lit conditions looked satisfactory. But the power of the dual LED flash not seems to be adequate to light up objects in poorly lit conditions. It has a number of additional camera features like exposure adjustment, scene modes, picture size adjustment, picture quality adjustment, color effects, and anti-banding. As far as the video recording capability is concerned the video given below will speak vociferously for it. A VGA front camera has been provided for video chat.
Sample photos

I would not call music the main forte of this handset, yes, it does not pack a punch like the high end Sony models. But it does sport a pretty strong speaker that, according to me, is at least three times stronger than the same of Samsung Galaxy Y ( I used to have the handset once), which will cost you around thousand bucks more than this mobile. And for quality of sound, you have the liberty to connect a high definition headset all the time. By all means, the Stellar Mi-355 passes the acid test in the music genera.
The phone comes with dual-SIM connectivity. The Master SIM supports 2G as well as 3G, while the Slave SIM supports only 2G. Like any other Android phone, Spice Mi-355 also comes with connectivity options including GPRS, EDGE, 3G, WI-FI and WAP. It supports Bluetooth v2.1 and USB to transfer data locally. The device has integrated GPS with A-GPS support. Aircel users may get the additional offer of 100MB data usage free each month for the period of 12 month with every Stellar device.

Processor/ RAM/Memory
The device comes with an 800MHz Snapdragon processor. For a device in the six thousand range, the processor looks decent. It comes with a dedicated GPU that helps play graphics more smoothly.  140MB phone memory is available for users to download and install apps.

Specs sheet promises that the 1420mAh Li-Ion battery gives talktime of 4 hours and standby time of 200 hours. I really don’t know how to measure these parameters rationally. But certainly I found this battery performance above standard, as a single full charging lasted me one and a half day of average use, which included calling, Wi-Fi browing, music  and gaming.

The Android keyboard enables faster typing both in the vertical and horizontal view. The copy and paste can be done just by pressing and holding to select words, stay in selection mode, and copy text for later pasting. After composing the message, you can easily select Master or Slave SIM to send from.
OS and Apps
The phones come preloaded with Android Gingerbread version 2.3.6. The USP of the Stellar is the Mobile Antivirus by NQ Mobiles, which comes preloaded. Recently Spice had a tie up with NQ Mobile for proving security services its Stellar Series. In addition to the common Google apps like YouTube, Google Maps, Google Talk and Google Search, many apps come preloaded such as News & Weather app, Spice Gang,  Whats App etc. Unlike the previous Android models from Spice, the device is not loaded with bizarre apps that are rarely used by users. No worry of wasting precious memory. Other features include anti-theft and Vault- privacy lock for apps like, photos, videos, SMS and call logs & secret contacts. Users can update the virus/malware database for a period of six months absolutely free.
In my final words, I would like to draw your attention towards the high points of the Mi-355. Highly crisp display, front camera, strong speakers and powerful battery are strong enough propositions for an Android phone in the Rs. 6500 range. Go, get your Stellar Craze today!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Huawei Launches Two New Android Phones In India: Ascend Y200 and G300

Tech giant and Chinese handset maker Huawei has revealed its plans to launch two brand new handsets in Indian market. Both the phones are Android powered handsets, one is an entry level phone, other a middle range one. The Ascend series handsets will surface with the names Y200 and G300.

The manufacturers are keeping a mum over the pricing of the handsets, which is expected to be revealed just before the launch. Anyway, let’s try to get a closer look at the handsets.

Huawei Y200 is an Android 2.3 Gingerbread driven handset, which comes packed with an 800MHz processor that is well complimented by a 256MB RAM. The handset boasts of a 512MB flash memory. The 3.2MP camera of the handset seems to be quite good for an entry level handset. The 3.5inch display does not seem to be a bad one either. The TFT LCD display has a pixel resolution of 480x320p, and color support for 262K colors.

For wireless connectivity it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and for wired data transfer there is micro USB 2.0. The 1250mAh battery seems quite alright.  There are sensors like Accelerometer, Proximity, and Ambient light sensor. You will find a whole range of apps and social integration clients.

If the Ascend Y200 was good, then prepare yourself for better -- the Ascend G300 is coming to your way. The handset will be hitting the market with a mammoth 4.0 inch WVGA screen, which will be having 800x480p resolution. As far as the processor of the handset is concerned, the G300 has a 1GHz processor, which will be seconded by a 512MB RAM. The Huawei Ascend G300 will come packed with 2.4GB internal memory.

The handset will sport a 5MP autofocus camera. In the connectivity segment it will be sporting Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB. And the battery of the handset is going to be a standard 1350mAh Li-Ion.

Boththe handsets will be hitting the retail shelves within a month or so. Be prepared for-as the makers say- why pay first class for first class? Truly enchanting.           
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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos Vs Spice Stellar Mi-425

There was time when the big players of the mobile handset world were skeptical about adding dual-SIM specification to their top models, but the Indian makers weren’t; they had a strong belief that the domestic Indian market is a very congenial environment for pocket friendly things like a dual-SIM handset. The notion was vindicated as the dual-SIM handset became a huge hit in the market. And this made the MNCs think that they should enter the said field with vigor. And lo, there was a deluge of dual-SIM handsets in the market.
Today, we are going to compare two dual-SIM handsets. One is a MNC handset other an Indian made. Both of them were released this year and both of them made a foothold for themselves. The handsets are: Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos and Spice Stellar Mi-425. Let’s compare them head to head.
The Spice handset has a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, which is well complimented by a 512MB RAM whereas the Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos has an 832MHz processor, which is seconded by a 512MB RAM. Both the handsets are single core ones. Spice Stellar has a distinct edge over the Ace Duos in this segment.
In the display section the Spice Stellar Mi-425 has a 4.0 inch TFT LCD screen with a screen resolution of 800x480p. The handset has proximity and accelerometer sensor. On the other hand the Samsung Galaxy Ace has a relatively smaller screen of 3.5 inches with a pixel resolution of 480x320p. Both the handsets have support for multi touch. Here too the underdog proves to the unexpected victor.

Camera spec of the mobile phone gives it the cutting edge over the peers, the need of a camera on a mobile handset is arguable but the above mentioned statement is unarguable, it is true. The Samsung handset offers you a 5MP camera with lots of additional features. The Spice Mi-425 has a 5MP camera on the back side of the body and it sports a VGA front camera for video call and self portrait. The back camera is supported by an LED flash.
This comparison might suggest that the Spice handset wins the game hands down but that, in actuality, is far from being true. The Samsung camera is pretty strong and efficient. What gives the Stellar the cutting edge is the LED flash and the presence of the front camera.
There is no need to tell how important the battery spec is for a phone, everyone knows that. The Spice Stellar Mi-425 comes packed with a Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery, which is capable of bequeathing a humongous talk time of 6 hours and a robust standby time of 8 days.  Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos replies with a seemingly tinier battery of 1300mAh but when we look at the talk time we get to fathom why Samsung is the market leader in mobility; the handset gives you a marathon talk time of 16 hours and an unbelievable standby time of 23 days. Samsung wins easily.

The Spice  Stellar has GPRS, EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity and USB for wired data transfer. Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos has the same features in the segment. Tie.
Operating System: Both the handsets are Android run devices, both of them comes with Android Gingerbread 2.3 on board. But being ICS upgradable gives the Mi-425 a slight command over the Ace Duos
The Price Tag
The Ace Duos, if purchased online form a reputed site like, costs the buyer around INR 12,900. The Spice Stellar Mi-425 will cost you a meager INR 9999. This is the biggest advantage of Spice Mi-425 over the Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos.

The Verdict
One might get tempted to say that the Spice Stellar Mi-425 wins the battle hands down, but we should always keep one thing in mind that if Samsung is the kingpin of mobile world then there are some valid reasons for that-reliability- that is the word. Samsung gives you reliability that is the most valuable spec that a buyer looks when he goes to buy a handset. But if Spice can provide-there is no reason it can’t-that it can defeat the big fish like Samsung in the mid range mobile section. Spice Stellar Mi-425,that is the phone for you.
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Monday, 16 July 2012

Micromax Launches Another Stud : The Bling X44

Micromax has announced the third handset of the Bling series, the X44. The name “Bling”, which is commonly used to describe flashy jewelry or clothing says it all; The phone has some inherent gamour element that attracts the women towards it. It’s nothing but the embellished Swarovski elements on the phone that any woman would love to flaunt.

The first handset of the Bling series was Micromax Q55, which was released in 2010, boasted a Swivel form factor. Subsequently, the company launched another Bling A55, in the year 2011, which unlike the Bling Q55, was a bar. The new addition to the series too is a bar. Let’s browse around the interiors of the handset.

The Micromax Bling X44 is, in looks, much similar to the X55. The handset features a 2MP camera, which is quite capable of recording videos. Then it has a 2.2 inch QVGA display. Like most of the Micromax handsets it too supports dual-SIM. For wireless data transfer it sports Bluetooth and for wired data transfer it has USB connectivity.

As far as the memory of the handset is concerned the Bling X44 has an internal memory of 512 MB and it is packed with a powerful 256MB RAM. The storage capacity of the handset can be furthered till 8GB via a microSD card.

This bar phone sports a powerful 950 mAh battery that is capable of providing the users with a talk time of 8 hours and a standby time of around ten days.

The last two handsets of the Bling series were a hit among the ladies but we will have to wait and see whether this time Micromax targets the other half of the society or not.
The handset wears a price tag of INR 3000.

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Friday, 13 July 2012

Micromax Launches Superfone A80 Infinity

India’s premier handset maker Micromax seems to be in an aggressive mood. Just after launching the Micromax Superfone AISHA A52 and A56 it has unleashed another handset in its Superfone portfolio – A80 Infinity. A80 happens to be a dual SIM handset which also sports the company’s voice tool ASHIA. Let us see what other things this handset has on offer.

The Micromax A80 has a 3.6 inch screen. It has 5MP camera on the rear side and a VGA one on the front side of the body, the camera has a flurry of features like night vision, multi-shot option, camera sensor, and multiple video recording format. As far as the CPU is concerned the A80 Infinity has an 800MHz processor, which is capable of giving the handset a fast processing speed.

Moving ahead the handset sports a memory expansion capacity of up to 32GB. And in the OS section the handset runs on Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS. But the most amazing and breathtaking specification of the handset is the 2500mAh battery. The huge battery is capable of giving the users a mammoth talk time of 7 hours and a standby time of 288 hours.
In the connectivity segment the phone has USB 2.0, Bluetooth 3.0, and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n. The phone has light sensor and G-sensor. The phone is priced at INR 8490. Lets see what wonders this handset, the Micromax A80 Infinity can perform for the domestic mobile manufacturer. 

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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The New iPad vs ASUS Transformer Prime: Tablets in Comparison

Tablets have announced their arrival, they have become the flavor of the season, talk of the town; you guys must have heard these clichés about the tablet PCs. Of course all of them are not true, laptops and ultrabooks are still relevant as they are used widely worldwide. But one thing is true that the tablets have come here to stay (another cliché) and they are rapidly making some vital ground for themselves.

When the market is so big, the competition for supremacy has got be fierce. But in case of tablets, it is all about keeping the kingpin ship intact for Apple, which is not just a market pioneer but the undisputed king of the genera. But the companies like Samsung,ASUS and others are rapidly making advancements towards the much coveted crown.  And in this post we are going to compare ASUS’s Transformer Prime Tablet with the New iPad, just in order to find how good the competition is there.

Size and Dimension
The iPad weighs 652g and has a dimension of 241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 mm.  The ASUS Transformer Prime in reply weighs 586g and sports a dimension of 263 x 180.8 x 8.3 mm. The Transformer seems to have passed the test with distinction.

In the display section the iPad has a 9.7 inch LED-backlit IPS TFT screen, which has 16M colors and a pixel density of 2048x1536 that makes the ppi 264. The ASUS gadget has a befitting reply with a 10.6 inch Super IPS+ LCD. It too has 16M colors on offer and the pixel density is 1280x800, which makes the ppi 149. ASUS does not win the battle but it gives Apple a nice run for the money.

In the storage segment the iPad comes in three avatars: 16/32/64GB. It does not offer a slot for microSD card. On the other hand the Transformer Prime offers only two memory avatars: 32/64GB, there is a memory slot, which allows you to expand the existing memory till 32GB. I see this round going into the bag of ASUS.

The New iPad sports a 1GHz Cortex A9 dual core processor, which is well complimented by a 1GB RAM. In reply the ASUS Transformer Prime offers a 1.3GHz Cortex A9 quad core processor, which is seconded by a 1GB RAM. No need to describe the difference between a dual core and a quad core processor, the Transformer Prime wins the race hands down.

The iPad sports a 5MP camera on the back side of the body and a VGA camera on the front side for self portrait and video chatting. In reply the Prime offers you a thundering 8MP camera on the posterior and a 1.2MP camera on the front side of the body.  Once again the underdog pulls the rabbit out of the hat.

The iPad has a mammoth 42.5watt Li-Po battery that gives you a 10 hours and a standby time of 720 hours. The ASUS Transformer Prime has a relatively weaker 25watt battery, which gives you only half the work time and standby of Apple.

Other Features
There is no need to mention that the New iPad runs on iOS 5.1 and the ASUS thing works with Android Honeycomb and is upgradable to IceCream Sandwich. Both the machines have more or less similar connectivity features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB. Both of them have accelerometer, gyro, and compass. Mail and messaging is also similar with both having Email, IM, Push mail. Other features are also more or less the same.

The Verdict
After going through all the tech specs one might have the inkling that the iPad has been usurped from the top spot, but that is not the case; it takes the hardware and the OS to work in tandem for a device to become a success, that is the strength of iPad or any other Apple product. But if I say that the competition has become fierce and in the coming time the top spot could be anybody’s, that won’t be a overstatement.

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